Steve John Shepherd to leave EastEnders

EastEnders star Steve John Shepherd is leaving the soap after three years in the role of Michael Moon.

The Mirror reports that bosses have planned a “nail-biting” exit, to air later this year, for┬áthe scheming character.

“I feel now is the time to move on. I have relished every minute of exploring his character – the good and the bad.

“I feel extremely privileged to have had this amazing experience and want to thank everybody – most importantly the fans of the show – for taking Michael and his numerous flaws into their hearts.” – Steve John Shepherd

Since his arrival in Walford viewers have seen Michael face the music of fathering a baby with his cousin Alfie’s wife; become obsessed with Jack’s wife Ronnie; and woo rich Janine (Charlie Brooks) whom he married and had a child with.

Michael is currently estranged from wife Janine after her trust issues built to a crescendo, causing her to run out on him and their daughter. The story facilitated a break from the show for actress Charlie Brooks who has returned to filming and will be back on-screen next month.

The soap’s boss Lorraine Newman has teased that Janine’s return will see “plenty of fireworks”.

Charlie Brooks as Michael’s wife Janine